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President Trump Unveils Cybersecurity Strategy

September 21, 2018

By: Connor Breza

President Trump unveiled his administration’s cybersecurity strategy this week, promoting it as “America’s first cybersecurity strategy in 15 years”.  President Trump’s strategy builds off of his 2017 Executive Order “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure,” laying out four “key tenets”. 

President Trump’s first tenet reads: “Protect the American People, the Homeland, and the American Way of Life.”  The strategy articulates that it will accomplish this tenet by “taking specific steps to secure Federal networks and information, secure critical infrastructure, combat cybercrime, and improve incident reporting.” 

The second tenet of the cybersecurity strategy is to “Promote American Prosperity”.  The White House asserts that the administration “will preserve America’s influence in the technological ecosystem and pursue development of cyberspace as an open engine of economic growth, innovation, and efficiency.” This tenet is broken into three steps:

  1. Fostering a vibrant and resilient digital economy.
  2. Protecting American ingenuity from threats such as intellectual property theft.
  3. Developing a superior cybersecurity workforce through education and recruitment.

Third, President Trump’s cybersecurity strategy seeks to “Preserve Peace through Strength”.  His administration asserts that it “will identify, counter, disrupt, degrade, and deter behavior in cyberspace that is destabilizing and contrary to our national interests, while preserving America’s overmatch in and through cyberspace.”  This tenet will be accomplished in four parts:

  1. Promoting responsible behavior among nation states.
  2. Working to ensure there are consequences for irresponsible cyber behavior.
  3. Launching an international Cyber Deterrence Initiative.
  4. Exposing and countering online malign influence and information campaigns. 

Finally, the fourth tenet of the cyber strategy is to “Advance American Influence”.  President Trump seeks to accomplish this tenet by ensuring and preserving the long-term openness of the internet.  President Trump has put forward a five-part plan on how his cyber strategy will further this aim:

  1. Encouraging Nations to advance internet freedom.
  2. Advancing a multi-stakeholder model of internet governance.
  3. Promoting open, interoperable, reliable, and secure communication infrastructure.
  4. Opening overseas markets for American ingenuity.
  5. Building international cyber capacity. 

As a part of this strategy, the Trump Administration has pledged to release a number of agency specific strategies that emphasize the importance of cyber security.  His final message in the strategy strongly concludes: We Will Make America Cyber Secure. 

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